Libmonster ID: UA-12092

I think that aside from its general purpose of serving as a tool for cognition of nature and society and aside from its practical role, science is also an indicator of a country's development level. Without big science there cannot be a high level of tackling tasks of the future.

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Very few things, I believe, can be compared to the feeling of a man who has made a scientific discovery. He has learned something new, quite unknown, and by his discovery has brought use to people. This must be the supreme satisfaction ever possible to a scientist.

True, at first you feel joy–rather egotistical for that matter. You think: I, only I know it, it is 1 who has found and discovered it. What happiness! But then comes something else: a sense of satisfaction that your discovery shall not go, that it shall be put to good use.

This puts me in mind of Grieg.* Walking through the field, he heard a plain country maid singing a song to his melody. And it occurred to him that his music had become part of her soul... His creation had entered the folk's soul... The same joy overwhelms a discoverer as he sees his life-changing discovery.

Progress in science is impossible unless one overcomes difficulties. Science calls for heroism. But that's what youth is after and in what it sees happiness.

It brings certainty–a certainty one will be able to inscribe new pages in the book of history. This is wonderful indeed. Science opens up a boundless field for activity, and no one will ever tell that everything has already been discovered, and all problems have been solved for good.

Science has never risen to such significance for people's life as now. There is an ongoing intensive process of changing the life of humanity, a process triggered by grandiose achievements scored by science. This process is snowballing.

Life on earth has changed beyond recognition before our very eyes. Our planet has shrunk and become smaller. Humanity has identified itself as humankind by and large. This change has been brought about by new ground-breaking achievements of science we have witnessed.

Say, the invention of the aircraft has had more important implications than just the creation of a new kind of transportation. The same is true of the radio–in its universal all-human impact it exceeds its purely technical applications. The great communication and information media open up broadest vistas for global contacts.

Living nature is another important facet of scientific activities. Life is exceedingly complex and multidimensional. We should be aware that all things in nature are interconnected by fragile ties. Therefore research of nature should proceed comprehensively and not disrupt these ties; one should comprehend nature and not destroy it, but rather preserve and improve it.

Science inspires optimism.

Science is a force changing the world.

M.V. Keldysh, Selected Works, General Problems of Science Development-Moscow, Nauka Publishers, 1985


Acad. Lev Artsimovich (1909-1973):

Mstislav Vsevolodovich does not belong to lead scientists performing... the passive role of a breakwater swept by a wave of affairs that carries away a desired resolution on its crest. He was a live wire, generator of initiatives aimed at boosting the activity of all organs of the living organism of Soviet science.


Acad. Boris Paton, President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine:

Dealing with a vast body of information that one inevitably encounters at research institutes, Keldysh was fast in sifting away all that was of little significance, but he went into minor details where really new research matters were concerned. He immediately discovered shortfalls (if any) in conclusions, put forward a counter idea and was able to give a piece of his mind–how to seize best at the right end of a stick, as the famed physicist J.J. Thomson** described an apt approach.

...Now, who helped him there, we wondered? Erudition, yes. But where did it come from? Not from natural talents and good memory alone. His prodigal inquisitive -ness and energy played a huge part here, too.


Acad. Anatoly Alexandrov (1903-1994), President of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1975-1986:

...We have lost Mstislav Vsevolodovich all too early. But... what he has done for the advancement of our science first as an expert scientist and then as head of the Academy of Sciences has wrought essential changes in its further progress... He always saw to it that technical interest should be based on a fundamental scientific premise. That was the style of his work and his abiding conviction as to how our country's science and technology should be advanced.


Acad. Nikolai Bogolyubov (1909-1992); Sergei Merghelian, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1928-2008):

Ideas and methods outlined in the works of M.V Keldysh have chartered the course of present-day computing mathematics at home and, above all, the course of numerical methods of multitasking in hydro and gas dynamics, and in mathematical physics.

...It is certain that the subsequent intensive development of computing methods has revolutionized the all-science significance of computing mathematics and escalated it into a mighty tool of boosting the efficiency of

* Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), Norwegian composer.–Tr.

** Sir Joseph John Thomson (1856-1940), English physicist, Nobel Prize in physics (1906).–Tr.

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research, which is irreplaceable in studying sophisticated phenomena of mechanics, physics and technology.


Acad. Leonid Sedov (1907-1999):

M.V. Keldysh had a gift of profound and critical perception in that he was able to pick out what was most important in a vast body of information supplied by research and engineering teams and backed by trial operational data. He had a knack of enlisting all kinds of experts and organizations, and ensuring their good teamwork. Otherwise no multiple tasks could be realized within a short time. His impact was behind a high level of research and engineering work in many areas.


Acad. Alexander Ishlinsky (1913-2003):

He was expert in identifying the basic workings of a mechanical phenomenon under study and in modeling it. In his elegant and meticulous research, Mstislav Vsevolodovich was making a thorough mathematical analysis of that phenomenon followed by practical conclusions. That's the way N.Ye. Zhukovsky and S.A. Chaplygin had been proceeding in their research. Mstislav Vsevolodovich was remarkable only for the still greater power of the body of mathematics, and he had a perfect command of it. We might add as well that many of the mathematical theorems and formulae were derived by M.V. Keldysh by generalizing the "material" of mechanical problems.


Acad. Boris Rauschenbach (1915-2001):

...A good chess-player differs from a bad one in that he sees his game many moves ahead. A bad chess-player sees only his gambit and next move, while a good one sees five or six moves ahead, and so he wins. Mstislav Vsevolodovich had that gift of seeing many moves ahead.


Acad. Gury Marchuk, President of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1986-1991:

Mstislav Vsevolodovich was elected to the presidency of the Academy of Sciences at a very difficult time. Two problems of national significance came to the fore: nuclear energy... and exploration of outer space. Our country's life depended on solution of these problems. If we speak of the role of Mstislav Vsevolodovich in science and his contribution to the prestige of the Academy of Sciences, I think we should remember these two big problems. Certainly they brought glory to our Academy as a detachment of scientists capable, if need be, pooling all-out efforts and getting on top of any problem.


Acad. Nikolai Basov (1922-2001), Nobel Prize (1964):

Once as we were visiting an art gallery in Italy, Mstislav Vsevolodovich showed the best of his great erudition. Our visit there was rather long because the woman guide was speaking in Italian, and that was followed by an English translation... Then we could see Keldysh stepping aside together with her and running about the hall, pointing at the famous Italian paintings to her. He had an excellent command of Italian, it came out. That astonished me most of all. The same evening we asked him at supper where he had picked up his Italian. Mstislav Vsevolodovich replied that he, a poor college student then, went to Georgia for a bit of rest, and he took an Italian book along, translating it with the aid of a dictionary... That's how he learned to speak Italian.


Acad. Timur Eneyev, expert in mechanics:

Mstislav Vsevolodovich was a happy combination: both as a bold dreamer out to reach the limits of the possible and a sober realist who knew where these limits end. It seems strange to recall today that in 1959 and 1960 top experts took a piloted fly-by mission to Mars in 1964 in good earnest. Mstislav Vsevolodovich said it then and there that such missions were unreal first of all because of the lack of experience in endurance space flights and that unmanned automatic craft would continue for many years ahead as the main vehicle in the exploration of remote planets. And yet he had to return, time and again, to piloted missions towards remote planets and different projects of the foreseeable future.


Acad. Viktor Sadovnichy, expert in mathematical methods of complex systems:

Being a bright personality, Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh personified a harmonious combination of a great scientist, brilliant engineer and outstanding organizer. The success of many of his applied works was predicated on his high potential of a mathematician, on his ability to find a mathematical problem in a specific applied area and, conversely, find applied aspects in many basic mathematical research problems...


(M., Nauka Publishers, 2002)


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